I wasn't sure how to properly word the question, but I'm asking how to make sentences such as:

  • "I have lived in America for 10 years."
  • "I will go to Japan for a month."
  • "I have had this job for a year."
  • "I left for a few minutes."
  • "I will leave in an hour."

And so on. How do I structure it?

  • 2
    We do not do translations, at least include your attempts even if there are not right BUT do not include google translate attemps because we can see though it. May 5, 2016 at 3:07
  • 2
    The first four is slightly different from the last one. The difference is also reflected in English (use of "for" as opposed to "in")
    – Flaw
    May 5, 2016 at 6:24
  • 5
    I feel that this isn't exactly a translation/proofreading question. The sentences are incidental, and the intention is not to ask for an ad-hoc check of the sentence or for a particular phrase. It's asking about the grammar required to express duration. Which is probably why the close vote threshold isn't reached yet.
    – Flaw
    May 5, 2016 at 6:29

2 Answers 2


For the first four of your sentences (or, for "for X years / months / days / minutes / seconds"), I would use 「~[間]{かん}」, or just a counter such as 年, ヶ月, 日, 分 with no suffix (~間), or 「~の[間]{あいだ}」 depending on context, as in:

  • アメリカに{[10年間]{じゅうねんかん} / 10年}住んでいます。 I have lived in the US for 10 years.
    (or アメリカに{[住]{す}んで / 住み[始]{はじ}めて}10年になります。 It's been 10 years since I started to live in the US.)
  • 日本に{[2ヶ月間]{にかげつかん} / 2ヶ月}[滞在]{たいざい}します。 I'll stay in Japan for two months.
  • この仕事を{[3年間]{さんねんかん} / 3年}しています。 I have had this job for 3 years.
    (or この仕事{を始めて / に[就]{つ}いて}3年になります。 It's been 3 years since I started this job.)
  • {[数分間]{すうふんかん} / 数分 / 数分の[間]{あいだ}}、[席]{せき}を[離]{はな}れました。 I left for a few minutes.
  • {[2日間]{ふつかかん} / 2日}[待]{ま}ってください。 Please wait for two days.*

*"For one day" is just [1日]{いちにち} and not [1日間]{いちにちかん}, although you can say [2日間]{ふつかかん}, [3日間]{みっかかん}..., and [1年間]{いちねんかん}, [1ヶ月間]{いっかげつかん}, [1分間]{いっぷんかん}, [1秒間]{いちびょうかん}.

For "for X hours" and "for X weeks", you'd normally use 「X時間」「X週間」, as in:

  • [8時間]{はちじかん}寝ました。 I slept for 8 hours. (not 「8時寝ました」 or 「8時間間寝ました」)
  • [1週間]{いっしゅうかん}[留守]{るす}にします。 I'll be away from home for a week. (not 「1週留守にします」 or 「1週間間留守にします」)

For your last sentence, I would use 「~~で」 or 「~~[後]{ご}に」, as in:

  • {[1時間]{いちじかん}[後]{ご}に / ([後]{あと})1時間で}[出]{で}ます。/ [出発]{しゅっぱつ}します。 I'll leave in one hour.
  • {[5分]{ごふん}[後]{ご}に / ([後]{あと})5分で}出ます。/ 出発します。 I'll leave in 5 minutes.

Although all sentences I can translate. 上の4つ for are ~間. Only the last sentence is 一時間で.

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